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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Thursday, April 12

Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 speaks of pleasure.  Pleasure is not only experienced by man.  My cat Flurry often purrs with pleasure as well.  But we are more complicated.  We find that the pleasures that we hope will provide lasting contentment and joy don't seem to measure up to our expectations, but instead are temporary, evasive and nebulous.  I'm not speaking simply of material things but pleasure in securing lasting peace of mind and purpose as well. 

Despite Solomon's ostentatious and extravagant lifestyle, he eventually realized that his way of life was superficial and a mockery given the fact of life's brevity.  Further, he realized that what he had worked hard to accumulate would soon fall into the hands of another.  He actually began to hate life. 

We often witness this.  Some of the most "successful" people have ended their lives in suicide and depression.  Robin Williams was one of them.  His drug addiction and depression were symbolic of a relentless search for meaning and contentment despite his accomplishments.  Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting a better life or having a measure of success.  The problem is what do we define as a better life?  What is our ultimate purpose?

Jesus taught, "A man's life does not consist in the abundances of things he possesses."  Rather, Jesus made Himself the object of our most basic needs and fulfillment (John 14:6).  In fact, He said, "I have come that you may have life, and that more abundantly."  Life is not simply an extension of time replete with fleeting and finite pleasure.  Rather, it consist of knowing God and enjoying Him forever. 

 

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